Heidegger's Bible Handbook: Old Testament in General: Verse Divisions



7. The division according to the פסוקים/Passukim, στιχίων, verses. The authors of it were not the Tiberian Masoretes, but the Men of the Great Synogogue. Christians borrowed it from the Jews.



The remaining division is by means of the פסוקים/Passukim, στιχίων, verses, which interrupt the continuity of the Sacred text, and divide sentences, whether perfect, or severed by the סוף פסוק, Soph Passuk (ֽ׃), accent. Indeed, originally the Book of the Law of Moses wasספר פשוט בלי סימני סופי פסוקים כאשר אנחנו ראים היום׃, a simple Book, without the signs of verses, as we see today, as Elias Levita says in his Præfatione 3 in Libro Masoreth. And the Jews also prove that from the Sacred Book of the Law, written upon a great scroll after the fashion of the ancients, which is kept in their Synagogues in a holy ark for solemn Sabbath and festal readings, and even now is seen without those Signs of verse, according to the form of the first exemplar written by Moses, and bestowed upon the people of Israel, as they themselves assert. But, what the same Elias Levita persists in maintaining, that the distinction of verses was furnished by the Tiberian Jews[1] long after the completion of the Talmud, is solidly refuted by the Most Illustrious Buxtorf in his Commentario Masoretico, chapters 8, 11; and so it is shown that the genuine authors of that distinction are the Men of the Great Synagogue, with Ezra as President and Moderator.[2] Therefore, just as the Hebrews received from the Christians the distinction of chapters, and so also the beginning of the numbering of the verses: so in turn the Christians assign to the Hebrews the received distinction of verses. But concerning the manifest use of this distinction for reading and understanding the Holy Scripture, there is no need to say anything.

[1] The Masoretes were gathered for their work in Tiberias and Jerusalem in Palestine, and in Babylonia.


[2] Jewish tradition relates that during the early Second Temple Period there was a Great Synagogue, composed of one hundred and twenty scribes and sages, including the Prophets Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi, and presided over by Ezra: and that this Great Synagogue was responsible, under the guidance of the Spirit, for the final shape of the Hebrew Scriptures.

29 views1 comment
ABOUT US

Dr. Steven Dilday holds a BA in Religion and Philosophy from Campbell University, a Master of Arts in Religion from Westminster Theological Seminary (Philadelphia), and both a Master of Divinity and a  Ph.D. in Puritan History and Literature from Whitefield Theological Seminary.  He is also the translator of Matthew Poole's Synopsis of Biblical Interpreters and Bernardinus De Moor’s Didactico-Elenctic Theology.

ADDRESS

540-718-2554

 

426 Patterson St.

Central, SC  29630

 

dildaysc@aol.com

SUBSCRIBE FOR EMAILS

© 2019 by FROM REFORMATION TO REFORMATION MINISTRIES.